Spotlight Productions eliminates homecoming concert

Fund reallocation to allow for a larger spring show

By Ashlyn Korienek | 9/14/16 9:55pm

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GVL / Emily Frye Award winning country music duo Dan & Shay hit the stage at Grand Valley State University on Thursday April 7, 2016.

by Emily Frye / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Throughout the years, Grand Valley State University’s Spotlight Productions team has hosted a wide variety of performances aimed at entertaining both students and the community. Refocusing the budget for 2016-17, the student-run program has made some changes to this year’s schedule of events.

Spotlight Productions President Kyle Cronin said the annual homecoming show will be removed from the calendar and a smaller event will take its place.

Cronin said the change will increase the overall budget for the 2017 spring concert. As a result, Spotlight Productions will feature a more well-known artist in the hopes of increasing student interest.

Last year, the homecoming show featured comedy acts Aidy Bryant and Jay Pharoah of Saturday Night Live fame. For 2016, Cronin said Spotlight Productions will contribute to the homecoming week by searching for a student to host the Office of Student Life's annual LipSync event.

During the first Saturday Night Dive event on Oct. 1, which is an open-mic comedy night, Spotlight will host a talent themed show to elect the new host for LipSync.

“I think the public will respond positively to this change,” Cronin said. “We recognize students want larger scale shows from artists that they know, and we are adjusting the way we plan our events to mirror that.

“Our idea is to have a bigger artist, more promotions and make it a bigger deal than it has been in the past.”

Prior to the change, Cronin said Spotlight’s overall budget for the 2016-17 year, allocated by student senate, was decreased by $10,000. In past years, he said the budget hovered around $50,000 to $60,000.

For this year's spring concert, country artists Dan + Shay were booked for a $25,000 fee. By shrinking the size of the homecoming event, Cronin said the updated budget will focus on costs for one concert instead of dividing the budget.

“We found that students don't really respond to lesser-known acts as much, so we figured, we might as well bring in one big artist where they know who they are,” Cronin said.

Spotlight Productions Vice President Kathryn Mulcahy hopes there will be additional benefits for the concert consolidation.

She said the ticket prices for the 2017 spring concert may increase with a more established artist. For the 2016 concert, tickets were $10 for GVSU students, $15 for alumni and $25 for the public.

"We are excited for this change and, based on survey feedback, are confident that it is much better aligned with the student body's interests," Mulcahy said. "Not only this, but Spotlight has a variety of events planned for the year that are sure to keep students entertained and involved."

As Cronin said the spring concert changes genre each year, Spotlight Productions conducted a survey after last year's event to aid the decision in booking an artist for 2017.

This spring, a country artist was chosen to perform and the 2015 show featured hip hop artist Hoodie Allen. As Spotlight Productions has yet to announce an act for the show, Cronin said this decision will reflect the survey’s results and the budget available to book an artist.

“We do not have an artist or genre chosen yet, we're still looking at what's in our price range,” he said. “Hopefully we will come up with (an artist) that people are really excited about.”

To view the events Spotlight Productions has planned for the semester, visit www.gvsu.edu/studentlife/programming.

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